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Old 10-08-2008, 03:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ATT or Tmobile International BB plan for use in China

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As BB plan options in China are way overpriced, i'm looking at options for getting an international BB plan from the US. I will only be using my BB for emails, as i will carry my other device for voice calls. What would be my best options for a BB plan? I've looked at the international plans for both ATT and Tmobile, which both seem to have unlimited plans. I currently do not hold any plan with either provider. What would be the costs for both and are there any hidden costs (i've heard about roaming but not sure if this would apply and how this works?).
Is the following correct:
ATT internatinoal plan: $64.99/month for unlimited email? data? would there be additional costs for voice (which i wouldn't need). What about roaming costs?

Tmobile international plan: $29.99 voice (wouldn't need this) + 19.99 for unlimited email. Again, would there be any other costs (roaming, etc) and could i get only the email plan without the 29.99 voice plan?

Sorry for the many questions, but this will be my first BB and options in China are very limited.

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Old 10-08-2008, 08:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The ATT plan requires a one year commitment unless you are a corporate user and they may have special agreements that allow you to turn it off sooner. I don't know if they will allow you to turn off the voice side.

Since you would not need a voice plan, the T-Mo plan for BB is $40 + $20 for international BB data and email, $60 in all. If you keep the $30 voice plan it's $70 in all, so you decide whether or not you want to add the voice plan or not for $10. You can turn on / off the international addon the day you leave and turn it off the day you get back by calling customer service. They will prorate the days you have it turned on/off. Without a voice plan the calls are charged at 20 cents per min + any additional roaming fees, you can call customer service via 611 when in the states. Another item to consider, if you have a voice plan with T-Mo and with an 8320, when you are near in wifi signal, you can call US numbers and only have the minutes deducted as those calls are UMA and will not be charged as international call back to the states. This only works on calls back to the US, calling China via wifi will have the international roaming fees.

I've used T-Mo without voice in China - wherever there is China Mobile, you will get your BB data. For voice I used the local sim card option with another phone and kept the BB strictly for email/data. Charges were as noted above the monthly BB data fee + the international package, that was it.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I thought with Tmob you had to get the normal data plan ($20) and then get the international data plan on top of that (another $20) when you want to access email internationally.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimix View Post
I thought with Tmob you had to get the normal data plan ($20) and then get the international data plan on top of that (another $20) when you want to access email internationally.
This was my understanding as well.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, you get the normal data plan. However, if you don't have the voice plan the price of the normal data plan is $40/mo. If you have a voice plan, the BB add on is $20. That is why I said the savings of dropping the voice plan was only about $10 with the lowest cost voice plan. The OP wanted no voice plan was the way I read the original note. You are also correct in that you also have to add the $20 international add on, which covers both email and data for the BB.

Last edited by cctraderx : 10-08-2008 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Just a thought and I'm not sure if they do this with BB plans but a while back I had a phone with AT&T, lived outside their service area at the time but worked in it. Thought I'd have enough time on their network to be ok. I wasn't for 3 months straight and poof no more service. At the time for voice they required at least 60% of the call time on AT&T network and also a billing address inside their normal service area. If you live in China I don't know how you could hit either of those requirements.
Just something to consider and it may be totally different now.


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Old 10-08-2008, 10:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. We do have corporate US account with ATT for our office in the US, who would be purchasing the BB and accounts for us to use at our office in China. We're just looking for the most economical option. ATT seems to be the more expensive option, but as we have a corporate agreement with them, our US office prefers them over tmobile.
Is there any difference in service between the two?
Going for the Chinese BB plan just doesn't seem to be a good option. There are only two plans to choose from, with limited (50M/400M) data/email usage costing just as much as unlimited plans from ATT.
I just don't want to get stuck with huge bills for roaming from ATT if i do choose that option. If i get the ATT plan with voice how could i eliminate the risk of roaming charges? just by not calling? or will they charge me just for having my device on?
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My understanding on ATT is if you have the phone on and a call comes thru, you get charged for roaming whether you answer it or not. I may be incorrect. They will not charge you for having the device on, just when a call comes thru. As for cost, I'm not sure that there is that much difference overall, typically ATT is a few dollars more expensive but you do get better coverage in the states, so I could see why corporate may pick ATT over T-Mo for service in the US.

For T-Mo, I used the phone with no voice plan, just the 20cent/min plan and the number was not known to anyone so I did not incur any additional charges.

As to compare the 2 internationally, I would guess that they would share the same roaming partners. In China, I know that TMo uses China Mobile and would assume that since they are the largest and already have the infrastructure in place, ATT would also roam with them. Essentially, it would be the same service. If you travel to Europe, remember that T-Mo is huge over there and they have a huge native footprint.
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Old 10-19-2008, 11:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default how do i prevent high phone bill?

Ok, so i received the 8310 today with ATT international plan (unlimited emails internationally). I will use the device only for email purposes. Now i have never used a BB before so bear with me please.
First of all, how can i make sure i will not receive an incredibly high phone bill for international roaming charges. Noone has my number so noone will call in and i will not call out. However, the EDGE sign at the top right of the screen scares me. It switches between EDGE, edge, GSM and nothing. Do i get charged just for being on an international network?

Also, how do i receive emails. Does this happen automatically. FYI, my account was set up by corporate in the US.

Just a little worried about getting a $1000+ phone bill this month.

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Old 10-20-2008, 10:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You'd have to ensure that not only do you not place/receive calls but that call don't go to voicemail. I'd call and ensure that voicemail is disabled.

Email is pushed to the BB as it is received. There's nothing to do. You're thinking of a pull device where you tell it to retrieve email. The BB is push.
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